Tuesday, January 24, 2006
18---Journal entry for August 19, 2002
She listened to Johnny Cash on the radio. It was his 62nd Birthday. Sad music sounds happy when the person singing is proud of surviving. That's why the blues are so important to the people who love them.
Johnny's talking about Death Row now. "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and now he's done with the truth."
And I'm going through it still, by the most cowardly pieces of crap on the planet. But, Johnny went through it. Not this, but he went through something.
Happy birthday John, happy birthday.
Wonder how Donna's doing. Afraid to find out.
Ron was supposed to call her if Donna got better but, knowing him, she'd never hear either way.
Meanwhile her ears were getting smaller each day and her face was aging from the lack of circulation. Did people notice? Yes, actually, but the people she saw frequently didn't care anymore. They were all sick of her hate crime and wished she had been murdered. They felt crazy when they noticed so they just stopped looking.
She was less fond of them now too.
Yes, it's true, being a victim does make a person alot less attractive. Less charming too. Oh well.
She decided the only way to warn people was to write a book.
But, would they ever believe this? She wondered. She needed a scientist. Someone who could figure out exactly how some of the shit they did could be explained.
There was also the problem about how to get the word out without just teaching every prejudiced moron a new trick.
A book would work since the idiots weren't big on reading.
How to tell it so that she'd tell it without having to be thought insane.
Science fiction--that would work--just write the whole book but give it a science fiction label. No. Just fiction.
That's what she'd have to do.
Tinsel needed to get the plot written. She typed it out at 9:30 at night. She figured she had less than a half-hour to do it before her neighbors would call the police.
Tinsel's Book Plot
a) She moves into Millbourne, knows only her landlord.
b) Realizes after about a year that it's a mixed neighborhood and no one's very friendly.
c) Her new American neighbor moves in the second year and begins harassing her. It's not a big deal because Tinsel knows she's always drunk and just ignores it.
d) The sixth year the other neighbors very slowly begin to chime in. She's so caught up in her art and music that she barely notices it until the ...
e) Seventh year--from there on the harassment lasts 6 months in that neighborhood until she moves out of the hood.
(The beginning should be told from (e) the seventh year and the background added in flashbacks. The only way to keep the reader reading.)
a) The rescue--she runs to her relatives' house and is threatened "Get out of Millbourne or we'll keep doing it to you and your relatives too." She moves out--they DON'T STOP--they continue to threaten her and her loved ones.
b) They lie to her about so much while they totally mind-fuck her. She's praying for a miracle. Her relative loves her and keeps trying to nurse her back but she's not aware of what's happening. After months of this--less than 3--her sister gives up and that is the end of the rescue and the beginning of the next phase of this nightmare.
c) She runs to her friends and the same thing happens with them after awhile. They gloat as they destroy a lifetime of care. They get worse each passing day to make her look bad. It works. No one wants to help someone who never gets better. No one who never gets away from this can get better. But because of the sneakiness no one but her knows it hasn't ended.
d) She tries to tell--it gets her nowhere--she learns that people can hear you say your face is having pains and changing, and their response will be to reassure you that your imagining things and stare at your face like it's changing colors. For some strange reason people think it's less insulting to call you insane than admit your face is doing weird things.
e) She also learns that when those same people get their own feelings hurt or feel insulted you could turn purple, green and orange right in front of their eyes and they won't give a fuck.
f) Throughout this phase she tries various attempts to figure out how to upset their hold on her. Trips to the library to investigate any other mysterious happenings in Millbourne before she was attacked. Also trying different materials to see if they could possibly have any effect on the horrible field that allowed them to torture her.
(This must also focus on the particulars of the changing methods of torture--They waited til she had her new apartment before they began to actually physically torture her. They started with her face, neck and legs. Her beautiful runner's legs were turned into flabby, veined things. She continued to run but anyone who didn't actually see her do it may not believe it. Unfortunately, a few of the people she had trusted in her life were not in her corner and she wished she wished she had never had to find that out.)
Write the whole middle in terms of the physical torture and work in the rest in flashbacks.
a) She's no longer credible to anyone, good-looking or able to do her things that she used to love to do.
b) She learns that people are prejudiced underneath and don't care because it's more reality that isn't pretty and they never did want to know the truth. Tinsel didn't realize that everyone else was living this way. There were exceptions and she needed to find them...soon.
c) Strange occurrances happen more and more and it becomes quite clear that she will be rescued but she has to read the cues. She's sure the TRUTH will be revealed and she and she tries to do her part to make that possible.
d) All the times she went to the police, the FBI, talked to people begin to pay off--there is another break in another city--perhaps New York and the police pay her a visit and she is rescued.
e) She helps the police to spot this in others--shows them the way the physical changes look on people--they begin to investigate a bunch of strange events in the past few years before her hate crime.
f) She tries to reunite with family and friends. There's hope but they have fear, guilt and anger about the past. She's learned to worry about the world around her more than her personal relationships. It's no longer "depending on the kindness of strangers". Now she sees all her people as the good people who she can save from victimization. She wants to take care of them because that's why she is here. All the good people have to stand up and do something or the world is doomed.
17.---Journal entry for August 17, 2002
She was at work about a half hour when Ron, her boss, told her the news.
"Donna was in an accident on her motorcycle."
"I just got a call form her cousin and she doesn't understand why we haven't heard about it yet."
"When did it happen? Is she alright?"
"I don't know. Her cousin found out from someone and wanted me to tell her what happened and how she was."
"Oh my God..."
"I'm afraid to find out anything else---I don't even want to answer the phone."
She just stared at him. They both feared the worse.
"Should I email her? Where's that address she gave me..."
"No, she's in the hospital--no one's gonna answer that."
"Do we have her phone number...Oh wait, here it is..."
She dialed the number, holding her breath the whole time.
"Oh God I hope she's alright."
The answering machine message was short and was her husband Brad's cheerful voice-- obviously recorded sometime before this accident--telling her that they were all out now.
"We just heard some bad news and are hoping we heard wrong--It's Tinsel and Ron from Smith's Store. We hope your okay."
She spoke carefully, not wanting to make it worse for him if it was true, trying to be delicate--feeling so bad to be making this call.
"I'm not answering the phone any more", he said as he turned to walk out.
Two hours later, Donna's friend Martin told Ron that she was out of danger. Thank God, Tinsel thought.
"It doesn't seem right--How could someone be in surgery 2 days and be out of danger?" Ron wondered out loud.
Tinsel felt her feeling of relief fade away and the anxiety reappear. Then she put it out of her mind but it didn't leave, she just tried to pretend she couldn't see it.
The next day at work she learned that it was a really bad accident and Donna might not live.
She couldn't believe it--Why?
Why her? There's no answer to these questions but she couldn't help wondering.
They worked pretty quietly all day. Ron didn't want to answer the phone and Tinsel kept forgetting about Donna and worked like normal. She answered the phone as she would any other day.
When she was reminded she was amazed at her mind's power to forget this bad news.
Before she left work though, something popped into her mind that just blew her away. A dream she'd had just 2 or 3 nights ago. A dream about Donna and she'd never had a dream about her ever before.
In the dream Donna was smiling while she was..."Oh shit!" she just felt the spookiest feeling of creepiness come over her in an instant and couldn't believe it. Why had it just come to her now?
In the dream Donna was doing surgery on Tinsels' chin and smiling. The weird part is Tinsel not only wrote the dream down but spent more time than usual trying to understand it--especially the smile. Her smile was happy and light and strange in that particular moment since she was cutting someone's skin. Her smile almost made the action seem light and harmless.
Now, once again, she wondered what the dream meant. She hoped it meant that Donna would be okay--no pain. She wasn't sure, though, that it meant she'd survive. She hated that she had a dream like this.
16.---Journal entry for August 9, 2002
All over the city women were changing, getting ugly.
Was this possible? Could strong, healthy, happy people suddenly turn flabby? Would beautiful running legs turn into varicose-veined, flabby, fat, crippled up limbs?
If this crime wasn't stopped somehow it could happen in the years to come.
And so it happened that the worst most inhumane assault took place. Mankind attacking itself at a whole new level.
Auschwitz was made possible by a philosophy. A belief in the inborn superiority of one country's people--a belief that other people were dirty, inferior and should be destroyed to keep the good from being infected by the bad. Somehow they were able to get a whole country to believe that they were the master race. After that, they could rationalize killing innocent people.
Nazi Germany was a new low point for mankind. Now this.
In a world where you can go to any newstand and buy magazines that portray women in the most humiliating and dehumanizing ways, there's now a new way to destroy us.
When will they be known to the police? How many woman would have to be victimized before the truth came out? She wondered how she could warn people--get the word out to the right people--the law.
(This was written in 2002--before I knew the government was the perpetrator.)
She tried already but it wasn't happening. She either told the wrong people the truth or the right people too little. But she knew the police would never believe her alone. She had tried to go back and let them know but the little she said sounded crazy and she didn't say much. They were beginning to get that LOOK--the one that means they're beginning to doubt your sanity.
She never wanted to see that look again.
She prayed but it was hard to under these conditions. She felt that God had to know this and after Auschwitz she knew it was possible she would not be saved. That doesn't mean that she gave up hope that somehow, some way she'd be released.
She wasn't getting any intuitive feeling of which way to go now so she'd have to think of what the facts were.
This is who she told: the Millbourne Police, the FBI, the Police in Northeast Philly, the Municipal Court and even a brief stop at her South Philly Police Station. She's been working with HRC--the Human Rights Campaign--to fight to get the Hate Crimes Bill passed to include Gays. She met the local guy who was running for Senate or Representative.
People knew her face was changing--they looked worried, felt sorry for her and looked amazed--How could that happen--how could a persons' face go from healthy and youthful to old and baggy in less than a year?
Dave knew alot and has some scientific knowledge too. Maybe he's trying to understand it. But W. has too much emotional baggage to think about it. He could but the minute he sees her he puts her into some kind of box and it's small and stupid. He's not interested in knowing that people are even worse off than he already thought.
While she tried to get word out she found out that the people to whom she felt closest had less faith in her than she had thought. That hurt enough to discourage her from telling anyone else.
She warned people in her apartment and the J.O. downstairs started another Hate Crime up. With the Middle Easterners on her and then him and all the Asians chiming in, she was under pressure constantly. And still they continued to chop her face up.
The Latent-Boys were doing her in. God was letting it go on for some one to learn a lesson she guessed. It's hard to imagine any lesson that could take over 2 years of bondage to learn. She learned that there was something worse than getting murdered.
As she tried to write it in book-form she felt more and more how impossible it was to get the truth out in an indirect way.
A song came on the radio as she was wondering what God wanted of her - "The Battle is God's not Yours." Well that was what she had figured but when was he gonna show up? She didn't mean to sound unfaithful, her faith was strong, but when was something going to break this up?
When September 11th happened she thought for sure they'd stop. This attack started over 2 years ago, her face was fucked up, she was in pain---when was the karma going to kick in?
S. got hers--when were they going to get theirs?
Well the song on the radio was for her. The battle wasn't hers no matter how much they tried to make it personal. And, as the song said, God was using her, and she knew that, for a reason. She was strong, and this was the battle of her life and maybe the reason she did all that recovery. Maybe God wanted her, chose her to be the one who could fight this out long enought for him to fix things so that they were caught. She had no idea how many people had suffered through this, how many people were forced to take their own lives under the pressure of continual torture?
She thought of that guy in Millbourne. She was painting the Millbourne platform at night when all of a sudden this man ran across the bridge. He was upset and in some type of hysterics and he was holding his arms as if he were hugging himself. He appeared to be tortured and in agony. She immediately thought he was insane. All she could think of was it was not going to be possible to stay there painting because this crazy man was here and she couldn't concentrate or even feel safe. She was pissed off at her bad luck as she packed her paints up to go home.
Now, in hindsight, she realized that he may have had this equipment put on him and been totally confused and crazed from the cruel surprise of being attacked in this way.
She knew she had been self-centered but she also knew that when you set up to paint at night on a lonely deserted train platform even though it's scarey and you are actually making good progress on the hottest night of the year--you just can't be anything but a self-centered artist.
Only the most determined artist would be there doing that and the only feeling us self-centered painters feel when we are interrupted in the middle of our work is irritation and anger.
It's not pretty but what can I say.